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The Tarot * Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers (isbn 0877287546)

Not a subject I have really studied so far. I have read a handfull of books about the Tarot, but mostly because of it’s links with Kabbalah though. Anyway, this is the quite famous 1888 writing by one of the early members of the Golden Dawn. Ironically enough, this book doesn’t follow the ‘Golden Dawn tarot’ but is based on the system of Eliphas Levi.

But being almost completely blank, this was actually a very nice introduction to me. The work starts with the explanation of the name, a history and some explanations. Then you are informed about the structure of a Tarot-deck, you get different names for the cards and it’s correspondences with the Hebrew alphabet (alephbeth). Then all 78 cards are shortly explained and around the end you get a few methods of laying the cards. This is also a weak side of the book: the layings are very complicated and involve all cards, while there are many simpler forms with only the more important cards.

Anyway, a nice introduction though and available online (without images), so when you were looking for something like this, just have a look at the Golden Dawn site.

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